Friday, January 11, 2013

Top Ten Classic Rock Bands (part 2 of 2)

5. Jethro Tull

The most underrated band of all time. Jethro Tull deserves way more respect than it gets. I can only imagine it’s because ignorant people think that Ian Anderson’s flute is “lame.” Well, it’s their loss. Jethro Tull went places rock just didn’t go at the time. From talking about a struggling homeless man, to a song questioning how we view God, they often didn’t get the airplay they deserved because of their chutzpah. They were so experimental, that they even wrote a 44 minute song, Thick as a Brick. Even their most well-known song, Aqualung, people don’t truly understand. You see, people get hung up on the fact that the lyrics say “Sitting on a park bench, eyeing little girls with bad intent.” Folks just conclude that Aqualung is a pedophile. Well, they’re wrong. That line is from someone who does not know the destitute Aqualung, and unjustly judges him. A later line, from a friend who knows Aqualung’s heart, says “Aqualung, my friend, don’t start away uneasy. You poor old sod, you see, it’s only me.” That last bit is actually my favorite line by them.

4. U2

The onset of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s brought rock; it also brought the decline of traditional Americanized Christianity. As a follower of Jesus, I actually view this as a good thing. No longer did everyone just “go to church” because of culture, now the wheat was separated from the chaff. U2 was the first band to actually speak to a nation that was done with puffed up religious righteousness. U2’s lyrics are profound. Songs like Sunday Bloody Sunday and Where the Streets Have No Name are abounding in Christian language and symbols. It’s also worth noting that U2 and Bono have done tremendous work in helping the world’s poor. My favorite line by them? “The real battle yet begun. To claim the victory Jesus won.”

3. The Beatles

Ah, The Beatles. If you like rock, chances are you have The Beatles to thank. Formed all the way back in 1960, they hit the world by firestorm. They had the capability to make gibberish into catchy songs. Little melodies like Love Me Do and I Want to Hold Your Hand formed the basis for their style. You just have to smile when you hear one of their feel good songs come on. The Beatles even have a few mature songs as well, with Let It Be and A Day in the Life being their deepest. My favorite line by them? “Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say, it’s alright.”  

2. The Rolling Stones

While The Beatles may have started the British Invasion, for my money, The Rolling Stones were the most memorable. Having a harder sound than their contemporaries, The Stones shocked the old white hierarchy, while delighting everyone else. Something about their music just seemed subversive, which is awesome. Songs like Gimme Shelter and Paint It Black just sound cool, and are fun to listen to. They don’t really have a message, but quite honestly, who cares? It sounds good. A few of their songs are quite lyrically powerful, however, with Ruby Tuesday telling the story of a girl’s free spirit. My favorite line by them? “There’s no time to lose, I heard her say. Catch your dreams before they slip away.”

1. The Doors

The Doors are modern day epic poetry. Jim Morrison’s death is just tragic, especially at the young age of 27. Morrison, the writer and singer of the band, composed songs so brilliant that I really believe he will be remembered as a modern day Mozart. From songs as simple as finding the next whiskey bar in Alabama Song to deep reflections on the peculiarity of people you don’t know in People Are Strange, you really can’t go wrong with anything by The Doors. My favorite song of all time, The End, is just perfect. It’s really the struggle and mystery of life in one song. The lyrics detail the madness and lust that is everyday existence in a crazy world. My favorite line by them? “Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain, and all the children are insane.”


  1. well crafted and thought through but with a couple of glaring exceptions, but u c I lived through it and they were albums/artists I had not downloaded.

  2. dude, great list ... thanks for your insight on aqualung. i like the really early poppy cheesy beatles stuff. but then the long and winding road in the later years was pretty epic i thought. doors are hard not too like. crystal ship is a memorable one from them. w/ break on through being classic doors in my mind.

  3. I'm glad you liked it, Robby!